Thursday, July 8, 2010

First Steps

When my contract ended recently, I decided to try my hand at self-employment and build something profitable. I don't know what I'm going to build let alone how I'm going to make money on it but I figured “Why not?”

So without a product or a clue how to run a business, I figured I'd start with an interesting idea and a productivity technique to drive me forward.

The interesting idea is a database of Playstation 3 video games that keeps track of prices. The whole idea is that it would a nice list of all titles, prices, and when those prices change. Beyond that, I don't know.

The productivity technique I came up with is called the “Hundred Minute Hack”. The basic idea is I throw together a todo list of four or five things I'd like to do in 100 minutes. Then I set a timer and I go at it and I don't let myself stop for anything short of coffee or a bathroom break.

The four or five related todo items is a pretty nice trick. If I get sick of doing one thing, I can just do something else on the list. It's a handy way to keep myself from being bored, frustrated, or intimidated by the project.

I'm committing to doing these 100 minute runs two to three times a day. Some flexibility is important and sometimes I have to settle for 50 minute runs. But that's what's pretty sweet about the whole system. On a bad day, I still find I've spent over two hours hacking away on my project. On a good day, I get up to five.

The entries that follow this will probably be a mix of progress reports and little tricks I'm picking up along the way. It's hard to say where this experiment will lead. In the best case scenario, I have a profitable business. In the worst case, it'll be a fun topic to bring up during job interviews.

No comments:

Post a Comment